What’s the best way to teach the Bible to teens?

So What? Bible studies are designed as modified inductive Bible studies. Huh? What’s that? And why would that be effective with teenagers? Let’s break it down to see.

Bible Study

Each session is rooted in the study of the Bible. The Scriptures are your “textbook.” Because the Bible is the infallible Word of God, the source of life, and the gospel of Christ, each session is centered on reading and understanding God’s Word.

What is “inductive”? youth pastor and teens

A good question has remarkable power. By asking questions during the study of Scripture, the students discover answers from the Bible. They learn to hear God’s Word speak for itself. There are three ways the inductive method does this:

  1. Observation: What does the passage say?
  2. Interpretation: What does the passage mean?
  3. Application: What does the passage mean for me, others in the group, and others in general?

Additional specific questions are posed in the Session Outline and the student Examine Bible studies in each of these three areas as well.

What is “modified”?

The inductive approach used in the So What? studies is called “modified” because you as leader are not only asking the observe, interpret, and apply questions. You have the essential role as teacher-leader. The session is not the time for you to encounter the text for the first time and ask inductive questions. Instead, you lead while also teaching. You provide background, contextual information, and definitions of words and terms—teaching—if the students are going to discover and understand what the Scriptures say. However, this does not mean you will be lecturing.

How are you a leader and a teacher? You:

  • determine what will be studied,
  • see that the lesson aims are accomplished,
  • add your own additional questions to the Session Outline,
  • keep the discussion focused,
  • summarize the truths, and
  • see that students understand the main question and answer for each study.

What’s your role?

  • You are the discussion leader—not a lecturer.
  • You provide accurate instruction, context, definitions of words, etc.
  • You keep the class focused on the Bible truth and session aims.
  • You guide the discussion to ensure you complete the study in the allotted time.
  • You understand the basics of group dynamics to ensure that your students are interacting well with the passage and each other.
  • You avoid the dreaded outcome where students have only shared their ignorance and left with conclusions that aren’t based on the Bible.

This is a great way to get students into God’s Word and begin to “relate faith to life and life to faith.” Please post any questions. We’d be glad to help you in your context!


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